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Donors hope one good turn will earn another

Posted on May 10, 2012 by

Neil Etienne
via – Cottage Country Now

Rotary Bursary Endowment Fund Donation May 10, 2012

The Gravenhurst Rotary Bursary Endowment Fund was given a $200,000 anonymous donation in the hopes it will be matched by the community in the next year. Marking the donation are (from left) Ken Little, chair of the fund, local Rotary treasurer Dick Augustine and secretary Brian Ferguson.

The Rotary Bursary Endowment Fund has been given the most generous of gifts, and also a challenge for the community for the next year.

Members of the local Rotary club’s endowment fund were thrilled to receive a $200,000 anonymous donation with a catch that will hopefully further boost the program that gave out its first bursaries in 2011.

“The task for the citizens of the town is now to find $200,000 in donations to match this amount before April 1st of 2013,” explained the fund’s chair, Ken Little. “This is another anonymous couple who share the vision of helping underprivileged children in our community who want a college or university education.”

The anonymous donors hope the community will match their donation within the next year, but have left no other caveats, making it possible for any local or out-of-town person, business, industry or government to support the fund-matching effort.

It is already the second major anonymous donation to the fund this year, with Little receiving a $100,000 private injection in late February.

He said in the little more than two years the fund has existed, started with a $50,000 commitment from the Gravenhurst Rotary Club, some $330,000 has been realized.

He pointed out if the club is able to generate the $200,000 in matching funds before next spring, that would represent three-quarters of a million dollars raised in that short time. Any funds not matched for the $200,000 donation will be returned, so Little said he hopes people will be equally generous.

“If our town’s endowment fund continues to grow at the present rate we will give families in Gravenhurst a higher expectation of their child, and every child hope for a better education,” Little said. “It takes a community to raise a child; for Gravenhurst, as a community, to abandon children who need help when their families cannot help them is just being irresponsible. It is doubly irresponsible if our residents have the means to help and still turn our backs.”

Bursaries are awarded for a variety of reasons, all based on need, and not at all on a youth’s grades. Only the investment income in interest or dividends is given out from an endowment fund to retain a growing principal base.

“If the town’s endowment fund can leverage the matching donations to its full benefit, in 2013 our graduating children will have bursaries between $20,000 and $40,000; every year thereafter our town’s needy families and their children will benefit more and more substantially,” Little said. “With each passing year we hope our town can eventually provide an opportunity for every child with his or her post-secondary education.”